Now is the perfect time–during these last days of December and the first days of January–to pause and reflect on the lessons learned and maybe even open to the gifts gained during the last months.
There are times when everything seems easy, and times when it all seems impossibly hard. To make that manageable, we just have to remember that our present will one day become a past, and our future will be our present. We know that because it’s happened before.
The things we put behind us will often come around again. The things that trouble us now will one day be past history. Each time we endure the cycle, we ratchet up a notch.
We learn from the last time around, and we do a few things better this time, we develop tricks of the mind to see us through. This is how progress is made.
Wintering, The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
by Katherine May, p. 239
Therefore, I invite you to pull up a chair into the silence and have a closing conversation with 2020. Get out your journal. Perhaps start a new one. Be with a trusted friend, loved one, or your spiritual director –someone who will listen and help you sort through and uncover what you most need to know, in order to move forward into the new year.
Here are some key questions to consider or statements to complete as you consider the past year:
1. When I think about the past year, I…
2. The most challenging part of 2020 for me was…
3. What/who saved my life in the last year? What worked for me in the past year?
4. Where did I notice the movement of God in my life? And how did I grow because of my awareness of God’s presence?
5. Who were the wise ones, my companions, in my life, and what did they reveal to me?
6. In what ways was I a wise one to someone else?
7. What spiritual practices supported me during the year?
8. What surprised me about my response to the challenge of the year?
You may have specific steps in mind to improve the quality of your life, and I wish you good luck with those, but instead, envision your intentions. I love these suggestions from Elle Harris.
….Look for opportunity.
….Discover something new.
….Let go of something.
….Walk with hope.
….Fall into wonder.